The origins of stamp collection can be traced back to centuries as records show that the first person who actively pursued stamps to add to his collection was an Irish man named John Bourke in 1774! His impressive array of stamps are preserved and displayed in Dublin.
History of Stamp Collection
The very first stamp, called the Penny Black, was issued in May of 1840 and featured an image of Queen Victoria. Once the system was established, such valuable stamps were being acquired by avid collectors. By mid 19th century, thousands of people worldwide adopted stamp collection as a hobby.
The Wall Street Journal carried out extensive research and compiled a report which stated that the total number of stamp collectors globally is approximately 60 million in the 21st century.
Condition of Stamps
Those who are serious about the prospect of collecting stamps should seek the finest specimens. Quality of stamps generally ranges from “poor” to “superb.” A “superb” stamp entails the best centering, vibrant colors and the ideal gum.
A stamp considered “fine” has no discernible flaws, has adequate centering and may contain gum with slight hinge marks. “good” stamps are those which appear off center but are pleasant looking in appearance. They may contain minor defects like thin areas and heavy hinge marks.
Tools to Purchase
Serious collectors use a perforation gauge to distinguish the perforations of their stamps. Another device that can be used to tell subtle differences between stamps is called a watermark detector.
About the Author:
Amita Vadlamudi had worked in the Computer Technology field for over three decades. Following her retirement Amita Vadlamudi has written many online articles and blog posts on varied topics and continues to do so.